Monthly Archives: November 2016

Fear and change; change and fear

There are many frightening things happening in the world right now, and some of them seem too close, too huge, and too mean for you to do anything about them. You may find your best friend in trouble one day, a trouble he or she cannot get out of, just because of some of those huge, frightening things. Your friend may be beaten up because someone mistook him for someone else, or someone else told a lie about her that some people believed. It doesn’t matter that it was a mistake: your friend is still hurt.

Your friend might even have done something wrong because someone else called it something right. They called shoplifting “pinking,” or “copping,” or some other, silly little word that wasn’t honest so that your friend was fooled. They may even have said,”Oh, don’t worry: doing this thing I’m trying to get you to do isn’t dangerous! That’s just what the jerks say!” But then, too late, your friend finds out that the real jerk was the person who lied to her, or who fooled him, and now something very, very bad has happened. Your friends were so afraid of being a fool, they let themselves be fooled!

And sometimes when things change it gets even worse. People are afraid of change: they are afraid of doing things differently. Frightened people can be very, very dangerous. Have you ever seen a scared animal, a cat or a dog? They can be so frightened that they bite your hand even though they know you! They can be so frightened that they destroy things, or run away. The only thing to do is to stay away and be patient until the fear goes away or until someone that knows how can help the animal. It’s the same with your friends, especially when they are hurt or afraid. Ask for help with them: it’s better than trying to do it alone.

Finding Wisdom

When something scary happens, when something changes in a way that you do not expect and cannot control, that seems really wrong, It is so hard not to be afraid and angry. It is even very hard not to hate what has happened and it’s particularly hard not to hate the person that made things change. They have done something wrong to you, after all! They have hurt you and made you afraid, so they are bad, and you hate bad things.

But before you hate someone for doing something bad, check in with yourself. Yes, this person has hurt you, or changed things so that you’re afraid and alone, or even miserable with other hurt people all around you. After all, this person has taken away your peace! But has he really? The real wisdom is that he cannot take anything you don’t give him. If you look deeply enough you will know that you can find your peace inside of your self even though this person has done something very bad to you. But if you give your peace away to him, then he has it and you have lost it. As long as you can keep your peace, your sense that you matter, you count and that you can change things some times and withstand things other times, even the most evil person in the world cannot win. Knowing this is a wisdom so deep that the bad people cannot really understand it.

The Right to Vote

I just completed my Mail-in ballot, and put it in the mail. As I have been studying the issues I have been thinking a lot about how important it is to vote, even when you’re “too busy” or “too tired.” Yes, this year there were a lot of initiatives, measures, and a great many people to choose from, and it seems as though you cannot believe what any of the candidates says. That may or may not be true, but it does not have much to do with voting.

Voting is actually a very new idea. It used to be that, if there was a lord governing the land where you lived, he could make you pay taxes. If you couldn’t pay he could put you into “debtor’s prison,” Often, if that lord had a mind to, he would seize your land, drive your family off and let them starve, and you, in debtor’s prison, would be able to do absolutely nothing about it. It was even worse when there was a bad king or an evil emperor. A bad king would take all the money from people, either in legal taxes or by some other means, and use it for what he wanted to use it for, saying things like, “Make a pie out of starling’s tongues? Sure! I have the people’s money. I can use it the way I like.”

But notice: it isn’t the the fact that there is a king that is wrong! A good king would say, “Help build a bridge over the ford? Sure! I have the money that the people have entrusted me. They need it, and I can help them do it.” The same money is being used, but this time for the people and not the king’s selfish desires. It’s sad that there have been many more bad kings, queens, princes and dukes and the like than not. But a good king is a good thing to have

Voting means that you can choose the “king” you want! This being able to choose is so very important that some people have died trying to make it happen. They certainly did not think that voting was “too complicated,” or “too much trouble!” They knew: voting is a way of making your voice heard, so that you can stop many bad things from happening. You can help make the rules!

Isn’t that a bit like being a king?